Last month, 180 delegates from twenty African countries spent three days in Pretoria, South Africa debating how evidence can be more widely used in decision-making. The emphasis of the Evidence 2016 meeting was on shared learning across the continent, in support of Africa’s development goals. Participants came from a diverse range of fields, including scientific advice, evidence-based medicine, policy evaluation and financial planning. Ruth Stewart, programme director of UJ-BCURE (Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence) at the University of Johannesburg, and chair of the executive committee of the Africa Evidence Network who hosted the meeting, wrote about the meeting for the Guardian.
The Africa Evidence Network (AEN) is a ‘made in Africa’ initiative that brings together public servants, researchers and civil society representatives who share an interest in evidence-informed decision-making across the public sector. The network came about when twenty Africans found themselves at a conference in Asia, and decided to build a stronger community of practice in their own continent. Three years on, that core group has expanded into a network of nearly 1,000 people across 35 countries. More than a quarter of its members are drawn from African governments.
Evidence 2018 will take place 25 – 28 September, 2018 at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria, South Africa.